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Protests Outside West Hollywood Home of Prominent Political Donor, Where a Second Man Is Found Dead

9:27 AM PST on January 8, 2019

Via ABC7

[dropcap size=big]P[/dropcap]rotesters gathered outside a West Hollywood apartment building on Monday night to decry what they called inaction and indifference to the second time in less than two years that a black man was found overdosed inside a property belonging to prominent Democratic donor Ed Buck.

A black man in his 50s was found dead early Monday at the same West Hollywood apartment where another man, 26-year-old Gemmel Moore, died of a drug overdose about 18 months agoThe Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department has not yet disclosed the deceased person’s name.

“The cause of death is unknown at this time. That will be determined by the coroner’s office,” Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputy Dan Robinson told L.A. Taco.

A group of activists held a vigil and rally outside Buck’s apartment Monday night demanding that he be charged in the case. Community activists unleashed their fury outside Buck’s apartment. At one point during the protest, the crowd turned on Buck’s neighbors, accusing them of not doing enough to stop the deaths.

“If this was a black man and there were two white bodies found in his apartment, there is no way he would not be in the jail right now lawyering up,” victims’ rights advocate Tyson-Lord Gray said.

The Los Angeles LGBT Center released a statement calling upon Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva to “fully investigate this tragedy and aggressively seek justice wherever the investigation might lead.”

“The reports we have heard provide more questions than answers. The fact is two black men have died at Mr. Buck’s home in less than two years,” the statement read.

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Ed Buck with Hillary Clinton via Facebook.

The Sheriff’s Department has not determined whether it will investigate Buck as a possible suspect as it awaits the results from the coroner’s report. Edward Buck, who is in his 60s, was home at the time of the man’s death.

Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies responded to the apartment in the 1200 block of Laurel Avenue just after 1 a.m. where they found the victim not breathing. Paramedics conducted CPR on the victim, but he died at the scene.

The cause of death remains unknown. The L.A. County coroner’s office is conducting an autopsy. L.A. County Sheriff’s Homicide detectives are also investigating.

An attorney for Buck told reporters that the individual was an old friend who died of an accidental overdose of drugs he had used before coming to Buck’s home.

“There are some individuals in our society who have a huge heart, maybe bigger than they should have,” said Buck’s lawyer, Seymour Amster. “And they allow individuals to come over when probably some of us would not allow them to come over and then things happen there, after not being involved in their death, trying to help them and counsel them to change their ways.”

This comes after Moore died of a drug overdose at the same home on July 27, 2017. Buck was also present at the time of Moore’s death.

At the time, LaTisha Nixon, Moore’s mother, has said to reporters her son worked as a male escort and used drugs. She said he was homeless shortly before his death. Drug paraphernalia was found at the scene of Moore’s death, according to the coroner’s office, which ruled death as accidental.

The similarities between the two deaths are not lost on law enforcement. “It is suspicious that this has happened twice now,” Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Lt. Derrick Alfred told reporters outside Buck’s apartment building.

In July, prosecutors did not charge Buck in connection with Moore’s death.

Moore’s family has indicated that his journal entries describe Buck with having a fetish for gay black men and getting them hooked on dangerous drugs. Concern that a similar incident could occur grew after other escorts came forward corroborating those claims, according to the family.

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